Bradley Beal made a go-ahead layup with 2:53 remaining as the host Washington Wizards posted a 115-110 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday to secure the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.
Russell Westbrook collected 23 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists and Beal added 25 points in his first contest after a three-game absence for the Wizards.
Robin Lopez posted 18 points and Rui Hachimura had 16 for Washington (34-38), which will visit the seventh-seeded Boston Celtics in the play-in round on Tuesday. Charlotte (33-39), which owns the No. 10 seed, will face the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday in Indianapolis.
After leading 110-109 with 3:12 to play, the Hornets went through a scoring drought for the rest of the game.
The Hornets have a five-game losing streak for the first time this season despite Terry Rozier’s 22 points and LaMelo Ball’s 19 points. Miles Bridges had 17 points, Devonte’ Graham added 15, Jalen McDaniels notched 13 and P.J. Washington and Cody Zeller both finished with 11.
Beal, who is the league’s second-leading scorer, missed his first six shots from the field. In the first half, he was 2-for-11 with three fouls. He shot 8-for-27 for the game.
Charlotte used a 12-0 run in the third quarter to build a 15-point lead. That vanished when the Wizards went up 99-97 on Hachimura’s 3-pointer with 7:16 to play.
The Hornets held a 16-point lead in the first quarter. The margin was down to 56-52 by halftime as Charlotte cooled off and made only two of 12 attempts from 3-point range in the second quarter.
It was a strange start for Charlotte, which has been mostly a sluggish team at the beginning of games. The Hornets were coming off Saturday’s overtime road loss to the New York Knicks, while the Wizards hadn’t played since Friday night.
Washington began the second quarter on a 15-4 run.
Charlotte made 22 of 24 free throws in the game.
–Field Level Media
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